The Ford Motor company are the first major auto manufacturer to announce the release of a fully battery powered light commercial vehicle. The new battery powered Transit Connect EV will first be introduced to the US market in the second half of 2010. The technology is already in use by Smith Electric Vehicles a UK company who currently has a range of battery powered vans for sale based on the Ford Transit.
The Ford /Smith eco friendly van produces zero emissions and is capable of travelling at speeds of up to 70mph. It’s both quieter and smoother to drive than its diesel equivalent and also has a much quicker acceleration from 0-30mph. A single battery charge will allow the van to cover a distance of 100miles and should you require a top-up whilst out on the road, there is an onboard charger that can be utilized.
Battery powered vehicles comes with certain benefits, for example; if you live in the London area there is no congestion charge, there are no yearly oil filter changes and at present there is no yearly MOT certificate required. The 100% battery powered vehicle takes between 8-10 hours to charge or quicker if you have a 3 phase power supply handy. At a time of soaring petrol costs the battery powered van should be an attractive alternative for many businesses as it has low running costs of just £0.04 per mile which is a huge saving over petrol or diesel engine vans. The vehicle is powered by a Lithium-Ion Iron Phosphate battery which is twice as efficient as a lead acid battery and a 1/3 lighter in weight.
The rage of vans currently offered by Smith Electric extend from the 2.3t Amper van based on the Transit Connect up to the largest van which is a 12t model that comes in a range of body configurations.
If you still think it doesn’t sound like the kind of vehicle that will catch on then think again. Smith Electric already have a portfolio of big names using their electric powered vehicle such as Sainsbury’s, TNT, DHL, Open Reach / part of the BT group, TK Maxx and the Royal Mail to name but a few.